Monday, January 16, 2012

BBB – A Swedish Cuban

A new year with new resolutions. No, I don't make any New Year's resolutions, that's generally a bad idea. The shelf life of an average New Year's resolution is far too short. But I had a little thought that I should do some more baking, or at least do it in a more structured way, as in take pictures and blog about it. Of course the Bread Baking Babes routine has top priority, so I'll start right away.

January's bread is so quick and easy that you feel that you have barely started when it's finished. Two hours from start to finish, not bad! And it turned out to be surprisingly good too, although maybe not the healthiest bread on the planet. But you don't always have to be super healthy, and you can top the slices with healthy stuff. However, I can assure you that a toasted slice with raspberry-blueberry jam (aka queen's jam) is very yummy. (I bet butter and honey is heavenly but you have to draw the line somewhere.)

The Babe who brought us January's bread is my lovely SIL Ilva at Lucullian Delights (technically it's ex but what the heck). I have included the recipe here, but to get the nice looking pictures you should go to her place. Also check out how the other Babes have fared with this challenge - full list to the right!

You are welcome to join us and be a Buddy - Ilva has the complete instructions.


from Bernard Clayton's New Complete Book of Breads

1,2-1,4 litre/ 5-6 cups of bread or AP flour
2 packages dry yeast, I used 50 g fresh
1 tbsp salt
2 tbsp sugar
500 ml/ 2 cups hot water
sesame or poppy seeds (optional)

By hand or mixer (15 mins)
Place 4 cups flour in a mixing bowl and add the yeast, salt and sugar. Stir until they are well blended. Pour in the hot water and beat with 100 strong strokes, or three minutes with a mixer flat beater.
Gradually work in the remaining flour (using fingers if necessary), 1/2 cup at a time until the dough takes shape and is no longer sticky.
- I used 4,5 cups AP flour and 0,5 cup whole spelt flour.

Kneading (8 mins)
Sprinkle the work surface with flour. Work in the flour as you knead, keeping a dusting of it between the dough and the work surface. Knead for 8 minutes by hand or with a dough hook until the dough is smooth, elastic, and feels alive under your hands.

By processor (5 mins)
Attach the short plastic blade.
Place 2 cups flour in the work bowl and add the other ingredients, as above. Pulse several times to thoroughly mix. Remove the cover and add 2 more cups of flour. Replace the cover and pulse to blend.
Add the remaining flour through the feed tube, pulsing after each addition, until the dough begins to form and is carried around the bowl by the force of the blade.
- I used my Assistent for all the mixing and kneading.

Kneading (45 secs)
Turn on the machine to knead for 45 seconds.

Rising (15 mins)
Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and put in a warm (26-37°C/80-100°F) place until double in bulk, about 15 minutes.

Shaping (4 mins)

Punch down the dough, turn it out on the work surface, and cut into two pieces. Shape each into a round. Place on the baking sheet. With a sharp knife or razor, slash X on each of the loaves, brush water, and, if desired, sprinkle with sesame or poppy seeds.
- I used sesame seeds.

Baking (205°C/400°F, 45-50 mins)
Place the baking sheet on the middle shelf of a cold oven. Place a large pan of hot water on the shelf below, and heat the oven to 205°C/400°F. The bread of course, will continue to rise while the oven is heating.
Bake for about 50 minutes, or until the loaves are a deep golden brown. Thump on the bottom crusts to test for doneness. If they sound hard and hollow, they are baked.
- After 40 minutes my loaves were becoming very dark so I covered them with foil. After 50 minutes they were done.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

BBB - Burger buns for July

I have dusted off my old blog to honour July's BBB bread – burger buns! Sara of I like to cook chose this recipe for us since July is the month of barbecues and hot dogs for many people, at least in the Northern hemisphere. And what could be better than to make your own buns, the ones you buy are rarely worth their name, at least here in Sweden they seem to be baked with air and often fall apart in molecules.

I baked the buns and prepared two very nice sandwiches, one with home made fava bean spread, beef burger, lettuce, shallots and rocket, and the other one with brie cheese, milanese salami, lettuce, leek and rocket (yes I love rocket), arranged and took some pictures and the gulped them down since I was very hungry. Only to find later that my camera was set to raw format and my Photoshop Elements version doesn't support raw, and I couldn't find my Photoshop CD (just installed a new computer).

So all I can show you is a couple of plain buns. But my BBB friends of course have much nicer pics to show you, so head over to them straight away – links to the right! Thank you Sara, for this challenge!

The recipe is here. I reduced the amount of sugar, used spelt and wheat, and used fresh yeast because that's what we get in Sweden.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

BBB – Brunkans Långa

Babes logo september 2010

So, the turn had come to me to choose a bread for the month! It just had to be something with sourdough, and I wanted to use a Swedish recipe, after all, there are quite a number of fabulous bakers in this country.

Brunkan is a nick name for Brunkebergs bageri (the bakery of Brunkeberg, situated in Stockholm), and ”långa” means ”the long one”. When they bake this bread at the Brunkeberg bakery, it is more than two feet long – hence the name. This loaf gets a wonderful crust and a crumb with a deep flavour from the sourdough and the muscovado sugar.

The owner of this bakery is Heléne Johansson, an IT consultant who decided she needed a career change and thus started her own bakery in 2002. This proved to be very successful, and she has now started a second bakery and also taken on catering as a business. A true bread babe!

This bread is from the book ”Bröd” (Bread) that Heléne published last year and which contains the most popular breads in her line.

Graham flour* sourdough:
Day 1, morning:

Mix 60g/100 ml/0,42 cups graham flour
with 120 g/120 ml/0,5 cups water.
Cover with cling film and leave at room temp.

Day 1, evening:
Add 60g/100 ml/0,42 cups graham flour and
60 g/60 ml/0,25 cups water.
Mix, cover with cling film and leave at room temp.

Day 2, morning:
Add 60g/100 ml/0,42 cups graham flour and
60 g/60 ml/0,25 cups water.
Mix. By now, the sourdough should be a little active (bubbly). If not, add a teaspoon of honey, some freshly grated apple or a teaspoon of natural yoghurt. Leave at room temp.

Day 3, morning:
Feed the sourdough with 60g/100 ml/0,42 cups graham flour and 60 g/60 ml/0,25 cups water.
Mix, cover with cling film and put in fridge.

Day 4
By now, the sourdough should be ready to use. If you don’t want to use it right away, you can keep in the fridge if you feed it as above a couple of times/week.

*Graham flour can’t be found everywhere. If you want to recreate an exact substitute, here’s what to do, according to Wikipedia:

Graham flour is not available in all countries. A fully correct substitute for it would be a mix of white flour, wheat bran, and wheat germ in the ratio found in whole wheat. Wheat comprises approximately 83% endosperm, 14.5% bran, and 2.5% germ by mass. For sifted all-purpose white flour, wheat bran, and wheat germ having densities of 125, 50, and 80 grams/cup, respectively, one cup of graham flour is approximately equivalent to 84 g (~2/3 cup) white flour, 15 g (slightly less than 1/3 cup) wheat bran, and 2.5 g (1.5 teaspoons) wheat germ.


Brunkans långa
The long (tall?) loaf of Brunkebergs bageri
2 large loaves
600 g/600 ml/2,5 cups water
1125 g/2,48 lb high-protein wheat flour
375 g/13,2 oz graham sourdough (see above)
20 g/0,7 oz fresh yeast
150 g/5,3 oz dark muscovado sugar
25 g/0,88 oz honey
30 g/1 oz sea salt

Day 1
Mix all ingredients except the salt. Work the dough in a stand mixer for 10 minutes or by hand for 20. Add the salt. Knead the dough for 5 minutes more. Put the dough in a oiled, plastic box and put the lid on. Leave the dough for 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes: fold one side of the dough against the centre of the dough, then fold the other end inwards, finally turn the whole dough so that the bottom side is facing down. Put the plastic box with the dough in the fridge and let it rise over night.

Day 2
Set the oven temp to 250 C/480 F. Leave the baking stone in if you use one.

Pour out the dough on a floured table top and divide it lengthwise with a sharp knife. Put the dough halves on a sheet covered with parchment paper and place another parchment paper or a towel on top. I dusted them with some flour at this point. When the oven is ready, put in the sheet or shove the parchment paper with the loaves onto the baking stone. Put a small tin with 3-4 ice cubes at the bottom of the oven. (The water releases slowly which is supposed to be better.) Lower the oven temp. to
175 C/350 F immediately after you have put in the loaves.
After 20 minutes, open the oven door and let out excess steam.

Bake for 35 minutes or until the loaves have reached an inner temp of 98 C/208 F.

Let cool on wire.

Now, I would love to see your takes on this bread! If you do, please post it on your blog and email the link and photo to me no later than September 29th, and you will get the Buddy badge and be included in the Buddy roundup.

You can find my email address up in the right corner of this page.

And last but not least, please visit the other Babes and learn how they dealt with this bread! Links to all Babes in the right margin.

Happy baking!

This recipe has been YeastSpotted! Thanks, Susan!

Monday, August 16, 2010

BBB – Sweet Portuguese Bread – Massa Sovada

BBB logo august 2010

This month, Tanna of My Kitchen in Half Cups steered the Bread Baking Babes to the Iberian peninsula to make Sweet Portuguese Bread. And she was well prepared. She wanted to recreate a traditional Portuguese bread for a Portuguese neighbour of hers, and tried out a couple recipes before she (and her neighbour) was satisfied. Read more about their quest for the perfect Massa at Tanna’s place!

A new concept, at least it was new to me, was introduced in this month’s recipe – osmotolerant yeast. In short, it’s yeast that behaves particularly well in sweet doughs. In Sweden, we almost always use fresh yeast (practically the only yeast in our stores) and one of the two available types is for sweet doughs. So. I guess it’s osmotolerant. Now I have a neat word for it that I will use as often as I can. Read more about osmotolerant yeast at Susan’s (yes, she is a Babe! Yo!) Wild Yeast and in excerpts from various Google books.

Another unusual thing about this bread was that the sponge was made up with potato water. Very easy if you are boiling potatoes for dinner anyway, you just save the water. At least if you remember to do that. I didn’t, and I wasn’t the only one … but cold potatoes are nice to have in the fridge so just cook some more.

And the there was the shaping! I actually bought a broom stick to be able to shape this bread.

Massa SWP

Not that it helped, because after baking they looked like big, round buns:

Massa SWP-2

But the taste wasn’t compromised. Not at all! This was great bread, fun to make, and yum to eat. Thanks Tanna for this challenge!

Now go visit Tanna at of My Kitchen in Half Cups for the full story and recipe. The move on to the other Babes to behold their Portuguese wonders. List is on the right!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

The Babes are sprouting and growing!

BBB logo july 2010 

This month we got a somewhat different task on our hands –Lynn of Cookie Baker Lynn decided that since the Babes are mighty and invincible, we could bake without flour. And, some of us actually did! I don’t count myself to this lucky Babe troop, although I tried twice.

The general idea was to sprout wheat berries and then mix them in a food processor together with yeast, salt and honey to make a dough. Which actually doesn’t sound like a bad idea at all!

I actually found organic berries, not only wheat but also farro and spelt. In the first try I used both wheat and farro, and they sprouted quite quickly – the wheat was a bit ahead of the farro. But the result – I’m not sure how to describe it other than – interesting.

Wheat-Farro brick-01

It looks a bit like a gold bar (ingot?) and was as hard to slice.

The next try involved wheat berries only, more yeast and water, less salt and honey. That should have done the trick! But no. I don’t know what happened with the gluten, but it wasn’t there for the loaf. Which more or less fell apart. Below is a fake picture of a sandwich that consists of crumbles that have been shoved together to form a slice of bread. I can’t believe that I’m actually showing these photos (but the “sandwich” was in fact very good!).

Crumbles with philly and cucumber-01

But instead of going on about my failures, I would like to thank Lynn for bringing this wicked challenge along! It was so different and so much fun, and I actually learned a lot.

Besides the revolutionary, hippie-esque recipe – more things happened this month! We have new Babes in the classroom, and what Babes! They will bring along knowledge, experience, and new ideas. And they were introduced with this diabolic recipe … but they tackled it very bravely!

They are:

Blog from our Kitchen – Elizabeth
Feeding My Enthusiasms – Pat
Paulchen’s Food Blog – Astrid
Wild Yeast – Susan

I am very excited about baking with these fine ladies.

But OK, move on, nothing more to see here, go find more successful sprouted breads elsewhere! E.g. the other mighty babes, including the new ones above! Tip: Tanna of My Kitchen in Half Cups has a lot of tips about making this bread.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

BBB – Korni!

BBB logo June 2010

This month, not only did I bake, I also managed to blog at the very day! I think that I pretty much owe this to Tanna of My Kitchen in Half Cups who shaped us up and created a fixed schedule for us – the same date very month! Totally brilliant!


Our host this month was Lien at Notitie van Lien and she had chosen for us to bake Korni, a bread with many seeds.

Of course I didn’t bake until the every last moment, preparing the poolish late last night and baking this morning before leaving for lunch with my kids in town. They got half a loaf each but I haven’t received any feedback yet.

The baking itself wasn’t very spectacular, making poolish one day and baking the next – pretty standard. But there were some quite interesting ingredients, soy beans, millet and a good pinch of caraway plus three different flours – that made me very curious.


As I have been working like a beaver (can you say that in English?)I didn’t have time to join in the chitchat if the other Babes, so I didn’t get that some of them were doing alterations until I already had baked. But I was pretty pleased with the result anyway! I had very little time this morning so I just added all the ingredients for the dough at once, and after while discovered that it was far too stiff – I ended up adding 1/2 cup water to get it more moist and soft.

And I forgot all about the egg washing just before baking. But I liked the bread! I’m sure it’s very healthy and makes excellent toast too!

Head over to Lien at Notitie van Lien to read the full recipe and how-to’s, and go to the other Babes (see list in right column) and check their Kornis out!


Monday, March 1, 2010

BBD #27 – Pan Latino – Chilean Empanadas


It’s the first time I manage to participate in Bread Baking Day, although I have intended to do so many times. All those grand plans, all that talk and no action, that’s pretty much me, but every once in a while I surprise myself. Like today.

This month, the BBD is hosted by sweet Gretchen Noelle of Canela and Comino, who also happens to be a fellow Bread Baking Babe. The theme Gretche Noelle chose for this month was Latin, meaning bread originating from Latin America. Having very little experience from Latin food, I turned to my old buddy Google who after a while suggested something that I at least recognized – empanadas.


For most Americans, I guess that empanadas are anything but exotic, but for a European – well, at least for me – they’re a bit more unusual. I had never made them, or eaten them, or didn’t even know exactly what they were.

But the concept of filled pastries isn’t unheard of in Europe (or my kitchen) – pirogs or pierogi are common in Finland, Russia, Poland and the Baltic countries. It’s quite funny though, when I looked this up on Wikipedia I find a long article on pierogi which despite it’s length failed to mention the Finnish pirogs AND the Latin American empanadas. On the other hand, it established the similarity to dumplings and ravioli, leaving me wondering about the logic and/or lack of peer review on that article.

As a complete empanadas rookie I didn’t want to rely on just one recipe, I wanted to get some statistical evidence on what the ordinary empanada should contain. I didn’t exactly walk through the entire internet, but it seemed that there should be meat, hard-boiled eggs and olives. It also seemed that there should be raisins, but I pretended not to see that, since – well frankly, I’m not too fond of sweet things in my savoury food bread.

Oops, I hope that this is eligible for the BBD – the fact that it’s filled shouldn’t automatically make this a non-bread?

Rather Basic Empanadas


Makes 12

200 ml/0,8 cups milk or water, lukewarm
20 g/0,7 oz fresh yeast
100/0,4 cup ml olive oil
1 tsp salt
700 ml/3 cups AP flour
1 egg, beaten, for brushing

1 Tbsp oregano
1 tsp cumin
1 small red pepper, minced,
or 1 tsp ground chili pepper
3 cloves garlic
1 tomato, diced
300 g/1,1 lb ground beef
1 small, yellow onion, diced
2 eggs, hard-cooked, chopped
12 seeded, black olives, chopped

  1. Dissolve the yeast in the milk/water, add the rest of the ingredients and mix thoroughly. Beat or knead the dough at least 5 minutes. Add water or flour as needed, the dough should be tacky but not sticky. Let rise for 1 hour or until it has doubled in size.
  2. Fry the onion lightly in some olive oil a medium hot skillet, then add the meat a little at a time. When the meat is browned, add the tomato, garlic and the spices. Continue to fry 5–10 minutes, add a little water if it gets too dry. Add salt to taste, and maybe more spices too, the meat should be really tasty and quite hot. Finally, add the eggs and olives and remove the skillet from the heat.
  3. Preheat the oven to 200 °C/400 °F.
  4. Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and roll to 0,5 cm/0,25 inch thick. Use a glass or a large cookie cutter and take out 12 rounds. Add 1-3 Tbsp filling on each round. Fold each round in half and seal the edges with a fork. Brush the empanadas with the beaten egg.
  5. Bake until golden brown, about 20–25 minutes.